Youth Employment in the Sahel Region

Project background

Operating under the umbrella of the Global Initiative for Decent Jobs for Youth, the Luxembourg government funded project in West Africa began operating in September 2018 with two components that aim to address the issue of youth employment. The first component focuses on producing new knowledge based on the challenges young people face in entering the labour market. New knowledge products generated aim to influence national youth employment policies with a view to creating new opportunities for young people to transition to decent jobs. Various studies and publications, capacity building workshops, and activities are planned and will be implemented in 2019-2020.

The second component includes a pilot project being developed in Burkina Faso that will improve the skills of young people in the construction sector. Within the sector, two trades have been selected: electricity and masonry. Working together with the government and the private sector, the new project aims to improve the quality of the training programmes while at the same time placing a strong emphasis on the on-the-job learning component. This will help to ensure that young people are provided with the opportunity to put into practice the new skills acquired for their trade, and not just the theory imparted via traditional classroom settings.


  1. The Decent Jobs for Youth Annual Conference

    The Decent Jobs for Youth annual conference in 2019 will run under the theme Rights and Voices of Youth, promoting an inclusive and rights-based youth employment agenda that allows youth to find their voice and advance their interests.

  2. Workshop on Quality Apprenticeships held in West Africa

    This three-day workshop, organized as part of the Global Initiative for Decent Youth Employment, examined the challenges and opportunities for a quality apprenticeship system in the six West African countries participating in the event.

Key resources

  1. Publication

    Quality Apprenticeships: Addressing skills mismatch and youth unemployment

    12 June 2019

    SKILLS for Employment Policy Brief

  2. A joint ILO/IOE publication

    Tools for Quality Apprenticeships: a Guide for Enterprises

    09 April 2019


  1. News

    Japan to support youth employment opportunities for refugees and host community in Mauritania

    11 April 2019

    The project aims at promoting economic self-sufficiency of refugees and peaceful coexistence with host communities through the development of employability schemes and decent jobs in infrastructure construction works.

  2. Press release

    Luxembourg reaffirms support to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth

    23 October 2018

    Donor renews partnership with the ILO with a particular focus on the Sahel region